## Curtis Porter : CRash CouRse in CR Geometry

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 2252 Views )CR geometry studies real hypersurfaces in complex vector spaces and their generalizations, CR manifolds. In many cases of interest to complex analysis and PDE, CR manifolds can be considered ``curved versions" of homogeneous spaces according to Elie Cartan’s generalization of Klein’s Erlangen program. Which homogeneous space is the ``flat model" of a CR manifold depends on the Levi form, a tensor named after a mathematician who used it to characterize boundaries of pseudoconvex domains. As in the analytic setting, the Levi form plays a central role in the geometry of CR manifolds, which we explore in relation to their homogeneous models.

## Margaret Regan : Using homotopy continuation to solve parametrized polynomial systems in applications

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 1832 Views )Many problems that arise in mathematics, science, and engineering can be formulated as solving a parameterized system of polynomial equations which must be solved for given instances of the parameters. One way to solve these systems is to use a common technique within numerical algebraic geometry called homotopy continuation. My talk will start with background on homotopy continuation and parametrized polynomial systems, followed by applications to problems in computer vision and kinematics. Of these, I will first present a new approach which uses locally adaptive methods and sparse matrix calculations to solve parameterized overdetermined systems in projective space. Examples will be provided in 2D image reconstruction to compare the new methods with traditional approaches in numerical algebraic geometry. Second, I will discuss a new definition of monodromy action over the real numbers which encodes tiered characteristics regarding real solutions. Examples will be given to show the benefits of this definition over a naive extension of the monodromy group (over the complex numbers). In addition, an application in kinematics will be discussed to highlight the computational method and impact on calibration.

## Measure-Theoretic Dvoretzky Theorem and Applications to Data Science

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1451 Views )SEPC 2021 in honor of Elizabeth Meckes. Slides from the talks and more information are available <a href="https://services.math.duke.edu/~rtd/SEPC2021/SEPC2021.html">at this link (here).</a>

## Oliver Tough : The Fleming-Viot Particle System with McKean-Vlasov dynamics

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1332 Views )Quasi-Stationary Distributions (QSDs) describe the long-time behaviour of killed Markov processes. The Fleming-Viot particle system provides a particle representation for the QSD of a Markov process killed upon contact with the boundary of its domain. Whereas previous work has dealt with killed Markov processes, we consider killed McKean-Vlasov processes. We show that the Fleming-Viot particle system with McKean-Vlasov dynamics provides a particle representation for the corresponding QSDs. Joint work with James Nolen.

## Zoe Huang : Motion by mean curvature in interacting particle systems

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1254 Views )There are a number of situations in which rescaled interacting particle systems have been shown to converge to a reaction diffusion equation (RDE) with a bistable reaction term. These RDEs have traveling wave solutions. When the speed of the wave is nonzero, block constructions have been used to prove the existence or nonexistence of nontrivial stationary distributions. Here, we follow the approach in a paper by Etheridge, Freeman, and Pennington to show that in a wide variety of examples when the RDE limit has a bistable reaction term and traveling waves have speed 0, one can run time faster and further rescale space to obtain convergence to motion by mean curvature. This opens up the possibility of proving that the sexual reproduction model with fast stirring has a discontinuous phase transition, and that in Region 2 of the phase diagram for the nonlinear voter model studied by Molofsky et al there were two nontrivial stationary distributions.

## Roman Vershynin : Mathematics of synthetic data and privacy

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1110 Views )An emerging way to protect privacy is to replace true data by synthetic data. Medical records of artificial patients, for example, could retain meaningful statistical information while preserving privacy of the true patients. But what is synthetic data, and what is privacy? How do we define these concepts mathematically? Is it possible to make synthetic data that is both useful and private? I will tie these questions to a simple-looking problem in probability theory: how much information about a random vector X is lost when we take conditional expectation of X with respect to some sigma-algebra? This talk is based on a series of papers with March Boedihardjo and Thomas Strohmer.

## Holden Lee : Recovering sparse Fourier signals, with application to system identification

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 1090 Views )The problem of recovering a sparse Fourier signal from samples comes up in signal processing, imaging, NMR spectroscopy, and machine learning. Two major challenges involve dealing with off-grid frequencies, and dealing with signals lacking separation between frequencies. Without a minimum separation condition, the problem of frequency recovery is exponentially ill-conditioned, but the signal can still be efficiently recovered in an "improper" manner using an appropriate filter. I will explain such an algorithm for sparse Fourier recovery, and the theory behind why it works - involving some clever analytic inequalities for Fourier-sparse signals. Finally, I will discuss recent work with Xue Chen on applying these ideas to system identification. Identification of a linear dynamical system from partial observations is a fundamental problem in control theory. A natural question is how to do so with statistical rates depending on the inherent dimensionality (or order) of the system, akin to the sparsity of a signal. We solve this question by casting system identification as a "multi-scale" sparse Fourier recovery problem.

## Yiming Zhong : Fast algorithm for Radiative transport

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 991 Views )This talk consists of two aspects about solving the radiative transport through the integral formulation. The radiative transport equation has been numerically studied for many years, the equation is difficult to solve due to its high dimensionality and its hyperbolic nature, in recent decades, the computers are equipped with larger memories so it is possible to deal with the full-discretization in phase space, however, the numerical efficiency is quite limited because of many issues, such as iterative scheme, preconditioning, discretization, etc. In this talk, we first discuss about the special case of isotropic scattering and its integral formulation, then walk through the corresponding fast algorithm for it. In the second part, we try to trivially extend the method to anisotropic case, and talk about the method’s limitation and some perspectives in both theory and numerics.

## James Keener : Flexing your Protein muscles: How to Pull with a Burning Rope

- Mathematical Biology ( 727 Views )The segregation of chromosomes during cell division is accomplished by kinetochore machinery that uses depolymerizing microtubules to pull the chromosomes to opposite poles of the dividing cell. While much is known about molecular motors that pull by walking or push by polymerizing, the mechanism of how a pulling force can be achieved by depolymerization is still unresolved. In this talk, I will describe a new model for the depolymerization motor that is used by eukaryotic cells to segregate chromosomes during mitosis. In the process we will explore the use of Huxley-type models (population models) of protein binding and unbinding to study load-velocity curves of several different motor-like proteins.

## Yang Li : On the Donaldson-Scaduto conjecture

- Geometry and Topology ( 708 Views )Motivated by G2-manifolds with coassociative fibrations in the adiabatic limit, Donaldson and Scaduto conjectured the existence of associative submanifolds homeomorphic to a three-holed 3-sphere with three asymptotically cylindrical ends in X \times R^3, where X is an A2-type ALE hyperkähler manifold. We prove this conjecture by solving a real Monge-Ampère equation with singular right hand side. The method produces many other asymptotically cylindrical U(1)-invariant special Lagrangians in X \times R^2, where X arises from the Gibbons-Hawking construction. This is joint work in progress with Saman Habibi Esfahani.

## Demetre Kazaras : If Ricci is bounded below, then mass is in control!

- Geometry and Topology ( 553 Views )The ADM mass of an isolated gravitational system is a geometric invariant measuring the total mass due to matter and other fields. In a previous work, we showed how to compute this invariant (in 3 spatial dimensions) by studying harmonic functions. Now I'll use this formula to consider the question: How flat is an asymptotically flat manifold with very little total mass? In the presence of a lower bound on Ricci curvature, we make progress on this question and confirm special cases of conjectures made by Ilmanen and Sormani.

## Alfio Fabio La Rosa : Translation functors and the trace formula

- Number Theory ( 490 Views )I will propose a way to combine the theory of translation functors with the trace formula to study automorphic representations of connected semisimple anisotropic algebraic groups over the rational numbers whose Archimedean component is a limit of discrete series. I will explain the main ideas of the derivation of a trace formula which, modulo a conjecture on the decomposition of the tensor product of a limit of discrete series with a finite-dimensional representation into basic representations, allows to isolate the non-Archimedean parts of a finite family of C-algebraic automorphic representations containing the ones whose Archimedean component is a given limit of discrete series.

## Joe Kileel : Inverse Problems, Imaging, and Tensor Decomposition

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 374 Views )Perspectives from computational algebra and numerical optimization are brought to bear on a scientific application and a data science application. In the first part of the talk, I will discuss cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), an imaging technique to determine the 3-D shape of macromolecules from many noisy 2-D projections, recognized by the 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize. Mathematically, cryo-EM presents a particularly rich inverse problem, with unknown orientations, extreme noise, big data and conformational heterogeneity. In particular, this motivates a general framework for statistical estimation under compact group actions, connecting information theory and group invariant theory. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss tensor rank decomposition, a higher-order variant of PCA broadly applicable in data science. A fast algorithm is introduced and analyzed, combining ideas of Sylvester and the power method.

## Calvin McPhail-Snyder : Making the Jones polynomial more geometric

- Geometry and Topology ( 370 Views )The colored Jones polynomials are conjectured to detect geometric information about knot complements, such as hyperbolic volume. These relationships ("volume conjectures") are known in a number of special cases but are in general quite mysterious. In this talk I will discuss a program to better understand them by constructing holonomy invariants, which depend on both a knot K and a representation of its knot group into SL_2(C). By defining a version of the Jones polynomial that knows about geometric data, we hope to better understand why the ordinary Jones polynomial does too. Along the way we can obtain more powerful quantum invariants of knots and other topological objects.

## Wei Ho : Integral points on elliptic curves

- Algebraic Geometry ( 349 Views )Elliptic curves are fundamental and well-studied objects in arithmetic geometry. However, much is still not known about many basic properties, such as the number of rational points on a "random" elliptic curve. We will discuss some conjectures and theorems about this "arithmetic statistics" problem, and then show how they can be applied to answer a related question about the number of integral points on elliptic curves over Q. In particular, we show that the second moment (and the average) for the number of integral points on elliptic curves over Q is bounded (joint work with Levent Alpoge)

## Bhargav Bhatt : Interpolating p-adic cohomology theories

- Algebraic Geometry ( 318 Views )Integration of differential forms against cycles on a complex manifold helps relate de Rham cohomology to singular cohomology, which forms the beginning of Hodge theory. The analogous story for p-adic manifolds, which is the subject of p-adic Hodge theory, is richer due to a wider variety of available cohomology theories (de Rham, etale, crystalline, and more) and torsion phenomena. In this talk, I will give a bird's eye view of this picture, guided by the recently discovered notion of prismatic cohomology that provides some cohesion to the story. (Based on joint work with Morrow and Scholze as well as work in progress with Scholze.)

## Bruce Donald : Some mathematical and computational challenges arising in structural molecular biology

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 304 Views )Computational protein design is a transformative field with exciting prospects for advancing both basic science and translational medical research. New algorithms blend discrete and continuous mathematics to address the challenges of creating designer proteins. I will discuss recent progress in this area and some interesting open problems. I will motivate this talk by discussing how, by using continuous geometric representations within a discrete optimization framework, broadly-neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies were computationally designed that are now being tested in humans - the designed antibodies are currently in eight clinical trials (See https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=&term=VRC07&cntry=&state=&city=&dist= ), one of which is Phase 2a (NCT03721510). These continuous representations model the flexibility and dynamics of biological macromolecules, which are an important structural determinant of function. However, reconstruction of biomolecular dynamics from experimental observables requires the determination of a conformational probability distribution. These distributions are not fully constrained by the limited information from experiments, making the problem ill-posed in the sense of Hadamard. The ill-posed nature of the problem comes from the fact that it has no unique solution. Multiple or even an infinite number of solutions may exist. To avoid the ill-posed nature, the problem must be regularized by making (hopefully reasonable) assumptions. I will present new ways to both represent and visualize correlated inter-domain protein motions (See Figure). We use Bingham distributions, based on a quaternion fit to circular moments of a physics-based quadratic form. To find the optimal solution for the distribution, we designed an efficient, provable branch-and-bound algorithm that exploits the structure of analytical solutions to the trigonometric moment problem. Hence, continuous conformational PDFs can be determined directly from NMR measurements. The representation works especially well for multi-domain systems with broad conformational distributions. Ultimately, this method has parallels to other branches of applied mathematics that balance discrete and continuous representations, including physical geometric algorithms, robotics, computer vision, and robust optimization. I will advocate for using continuous distributions for protein modeling, and describe future work and open problems.

## Francis Brown : Periods, Galois theory and particle physics: Galois theory and transcendence

- Gergen Lectures ( 302 Views )Classical Galois theory replaces the study of algebraic numbers with group theory. This idea is extremely powerful, and led to the proof of the insolubility of the general quintic equation. A deep idea, originating in the work of Grothendieck, is that Galois theory should extend to the theory of periods. I will describe a cheap way to set up such a theory and illustrate it in the case of multiple zeta values. It gives rise to a symmetry group which respects the algebraic identities satisfied by these numbers and explains their underlying structure.

## Shweta Bansal : Got flu? Using small and big data to understand influenza transmission, surveillance and control

- Mathematical Biology ( 301 Views )Traditional infectious disease epidemiology is built on the foundation of high quality and high accuracy data on disease and behavior. While these data are usually characterized by smallsize, they benefit from designed sampling schemes that make it possible to make population-level inferences. On the other hand, digital infectious disease epidemiology uses existing digital traces, re-purposing them to identify patterns in health-related processes. In this talk, I will discuss our work using data from small epidemiological studies as well as administrative “big data” to understand influenza transmission dynamics and inform disease surveillance and control.

## Francis Brown : Periods, Galois theory and particle physics: Applications

- Gergen Lectures ( 286 Views )In the final lecture, I will propose how the Galois theory of periods should lead to a classification of periods by types. When applied to the set of Feynman integrals occurring in particle physics, experiments suggest the emergence of a `cosmic? Galois group of symmetries acting on the constants of high-energy physics.

## Yiannis Sakellaridis : Moment map and orbital integrals

- Algebraic Geometry ( 284 Views )In the Langlands program, it is essential to understand spaces of Schwartz measures on quotient stacks like the (twisted) adjoint quotient of a reductive group. The generalization of this problem to spherical varieties calls for an understanding of the double quotient H\G/H, where H is a spherical subgroup of G. This has been studied by Richardson for symmetric spaces. In this talk, I will present a new approach, for spherical varieties "of rank one", based on Friedrich Knop's theory of the moment map and the invariant collective motion.

## Stephen Schecter : Stability of traveling waves for a class of reaction-diffusion systems that arise in chemical reaction models

- Undergraduate Seminars ( 283 Views )I'll discuss rigorous nonlinear stability results for traveling waves in a class of reaction-diffusion systems that arise in chemical reaction models. The class includes systems in which there is no diffusion in some equations. The results are detailed enough to show, for example, that the results of adding some heat or adding some reactant to a combustion front are different.

## Robert V. Kohn : A Variational Perspective on Wrinkling Patterns in Thin Elastic Sheets: What sets the local length scale of tensile wrinkling?

- Gergen Lectures ( 282 Views )The wrinkling of thin elastic sheets is very familiar: our skin
wrinkles, drapes have coarsening folds, and a sheet stretched
over a round surface must wrinkle or fold.

What kind of mathematics is relevant? The stable configurations of a
sheet are local minima of a variational problem with a rather special
structure, involving a nonconvex membrane term (which favors isometry)
and a higher-order bending term (which penalizes curvature). The bending
term is a singular perturbation; its small coefficient is the sheet
thickness squared. The patterns seen in thin sheets arise from energy
minimization -- but not in the same way that minimal surfaces arise
from area minimization. Rather, the analysis of wrinkling is an example
of "energy-driven pattern formation," in which our goal is to understand
the asymptotic character of the minimizers in a suitable limit (as the
nondimensionalized sheet thickness tends to zero).

What kind of understanding is feasible? It has been fruitful to focus
on how the minimum energy scales with sheet thickness, i.e. the "energy
scaling law." This approach entails proving upper bounds and
lower bounds that scale the same way. The upper bounds tend to be
easier, since nature gives us a hint. The lower bounds are more subtle,
since they must be ansatz-free; in many cases, the arguments used to
prove the lower bounds help explain "why" we see particular patterns.
A related but more ambitious goal is to identify the prefactor as well
as the scaling law; Ian Tobasco's striking recent work on geometry-driven
wrinkling has this character.

Lecture 1 will provide an overview of this topic (assuming no background
in elasticity, thin sheets, or the calculus of variations). Lecture 2 will
discuss some examples of tensile wrinkling, where identification of the
energy scaling law is intimately linked to understanding the local
length scale of the wrinkles. Lecture 3 will discuss our emerging
undertanding of geometry-driven wrinkling, where (as Tobasco has
shown) it is the prefactor not the scaling law that explains the
patterns seen experimentally.

## Blair Sullivan : Finding a role for structural graph theory in real-world network analysis

- Undergraduate Seminars ( 282 Views )Network science is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field with methods and applications drawn from across the natural, social, and information sciences. Perhaps surprisingly, very few approaches use techniques from the rich literature of structural graph theory. In this talk, we discuss some first steps towards integrating what have been predominantly theoretical results into tools for scalable network analysis. Tree-like structures arise extensively in network science - for example, hierarchical structures in biology, hyperbolic routing in the internet, and core-periphery behavior in social networks. As such, this talk focuses on ways to use tree decompositions, key combinatorial objects used in graph minor theory, in tandem with k-cores and Gromov hyperbolicity to provide structural characterization of and improve inference on complex networks. We also discuss new algorithms using tree decompositions to enable scalable solution of certain graph optimization problems in a high performance computing environment.

## Jordan S. Ellenberg : Stability and Arithmetic Counting Problems

- Gergen Lectures ( 281 Views )A big theme in contemporary number theory is "arithmetic statistics": what does the class group of a random number field look like? What do the zeroes of a random L-function look like? What does a random rational point on a variety look iike? In this talk we will explain how arithmetic statistics problems over function fields are naturally tied to topological questions about stability for homology groups of certain moduli spaces; in particular, we will explain how a stability theorem for Hurwitz spaces (moduli spaces of finite branched covers of the line) can be used to prove a version of the Cohen-Lenstra conjectures over function fields. There will be some overlap with a talk I gave at Duke in December 2009, but many things which were speculations then are theorems now.

## Curtis Porter : Spinning Black Holes and CR 3-Folds

- Geometry and Topology ( 276 Views )Some physically significant solutions to Einstein's field equations are spacetimes which are foliated by a family of curves called a shear-free null geodesic congruence (SFNGC). Examples include models of gravitational waves that were recently detected, and rotating black holes. The properties of a SFNGC induce a CR structure on the 3-dimensional leaf space of the foliation. The Kerr Theorem says that the family of metrics associated to a SFNGC contains a conformally flat representative iff the corresponding CR structure is embeddable in a real hyperquadric. Using Cartan's method of moving frames, we can classify which Levi-nondegenerate CR 3-folds are embeddable in the hyperquadric.